The Value of Community: Dominika Uhrikova | OYNB 102

One Year No Beer Podcast Episode 102 – The Value of Community with Dominika Uhrikova

Everybody experiences dark times in their lives. Many people are experiencing those dark times right now, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it requires a significant change in order to see you through the darkness and into a brighter future. Today’s guest has some experience with that sort of change. 

Dr. Dominika Uhrikova was on day number 273 of her alcohol-free journey at the time when this podcast was recorded. A year ago, Dominika says that she was very depressed, in such a dark place that she wasn’t sure that she would be able to go on for another year. But now, in 2020, despite all of the unique challenges of this year, she says that she’s experiencing her best year yet.

“I am doing great. I am doing amazing. I know it may sound fake. But this is actually how I feel, and I didn’t always feel this way.”

In today’s episode, Dominika explains that alcohol was always a part of her life. She came from a culture that normalized social drinking to a large extent, and she was influenced by that culture. She found herself in difficult circumstances – embroiled in a toxic relationship, feeling depressed, unsure of her own ability to reliably interpret her own experiences, and feeling largely out of control of her own life. She needed to make a change. So one day, Dominika booked a flight to Bali and there, she got to work on uncovering the root causes of her problems. 

Before she left Bali, she joined One Year No Beer, knowing that it wasn’t enough for her to spend a month far away from home working on herself – she needed a community and ongoing support after she returned home as well. For Dominika, One Year No Beer was that community and provided the support that she needed. 

Dominika discusses how One Year No Beer, especially the online community, helped her and provided her with support and resources. Not only did she become a part of the community, but she also elected to join a MasterMind program as well, after she was no longer feeling regular cravings for alcohol. She discusses what she learned about herself during this program. Dominika also shares some of the hobbies and interests she’s been developing along the way during her alcohol-free journey, and what she sees for herself in the future. Listen in to learn more about Dominika’s experiences and progress in the ONYB community and in the MasterMind program. 

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Episode Transcript

Science, exercise, nutrition, health, energy, passion, One Year No Beer. This is the One Year No Beer podcast where you will find all the latest tips, tricks, and hacks for a way to live better. 

Chris: Welcome back to another episode of The One Year No Beer podcast. I am your guest host, Chris Laping, sitting in for the incomparable Ruari Fairbairns, who as you all know, lost his father a few weeks ago. I’m humbled to sit in on his behalf as he takes care of his family. Our hearts are with him and his family at this time.

For those of you who did not tune in to the last podcast, just a quick intro on who I am. I am One Year No Beer’s MasterMind Head Coach. I’m also a proud Investor and Board Member, and I’m happy to be here with all of you.

As I kick off this week’s podcast, one thing that I’ll mention is when we get feedback about the podcast, some of the most popular podcasts that we have are when we have discussions with other One Year No Beer members. This week, we have a guest from our One Year No Beer community. You may have seen her in the challenger group. Her name is Dominika Uhrikova. I’m excited to have her on the show telling her story because again, we can all find our stories in the stories of other members. We can find inspiration from the adversity that they’ve overcome, and the transformation that they’ve experienced.

Let me welcome to this week’s podcast, Dominika. I guess I can call you Dr. Dominika now, yes?

Dominika: Hi, Chris. Hi, everyone. Thank you very much for having me, first of all. And yes, it sounds weird, even to me, because nobody has called me Dr. yet—very fresh. But it’s indeed the case.

Chris: I am going to love calling you doctor. For some reason, there’s just something about the way I was raised that when you are talking to someone who has properly earned and gone through the work of a Ph.D., you should address them as doctors. I will start doing that.

Dominika: Fair enough.

Chris: I’m so excited to be talking to you this week and having you on the show to tell your story. I originally met you in the June MasterMind group, which we will talk a little bit more about later. I just think you are so strong. You’ve overcome a lot, and you’ve accomplished a lot. Your story is really inspirational. And I know that as others in this audience get to hear your story, they will be as interested and inspired as I have been in getting to know you.

Let’s jump right into our chat. Here is where I’d love to start this conversation. I’d love to start with here and now. Specifically, where are you currently on your alcohol-free journey? How many days have you been alcohol-free? And if you had to just choose 2–3 words that describe exactly how things are right now, what would you say?

Dominika: I’m currently on day 273. I had to check it out on my I Am Sober app because I couldn’t remember exactly. In two or three words, it’s actually becoming a bit boring because I always respond, I am doing great. I am doing amazing. I know it may sound fake. But this is actually how I feel, and I didn’t always feel this way. For me, it’s so refreshing to be able to say that. Very happy to say it’s been the case for quite some time now, and I’m really enjoying this particular moment of my life.

Chris: It’s always a good sign that people are doing pretty well on their journey when they have to open up an app or look at the calendar to know how many days they’ve been alcohol-free. Here you are, 273 days and you feel amazing. If you went back a year ago today, would you have ever expected that you could be in this place?

Dominika: Definitely not. A year ago, I was quite depressed, and I was in quite a dark place as well. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure whether I’d survive another year like that. It’s definitely something I didn’t expect. I’m very happy about how the situation has evolved. 2020 has been a horrendous year for pretty much everyone. But I have to say very selfishly—it’s been my best year ever. In contrast to everything that’s happening outside—in my own life in particular—it’s been very different.

Chris: If we went back in time now to the place where you decided that you needed to make a change. You just said a year ago, it was a dark, depressed place. When did you decide that you needed to try alcohol-free living? What was going in your life, and why was it important to make a change? If you could give some of the details and specific things that were going on a year ago and then leading up to this moment in time where you decided to take a break from alcohol, I’d love to hear a little bit about that part of the journey.

Dominika: Of course. Alcohol has always been part of my life. I come from a country where social drinking is very normalized, unfortunately. It’s considered completely normal to go out and binge drink on Fridays, but also to have a few drinks pretty much every night at home for many people. This is what I’m always seeing all around me. But for quite some time, I didn’t consider it as a problem. But then, I found myself in this very abusive and toxic relationship for various reasons. It was a downward spiral. I was suffering quite a bit.

At a certain point, I wasn’t sure whether I am actually a reliable witness of what’s happening any longer if you seek what I mean. I wanted to get out of the relationship, of my dark thoughts, and everything. But I just felt, at a certain point, that I needed to have a clear head to be able to do that because I wasn’t sure what just my impression and what’s reality any longer. This is when I decided I needed to take control over my life again because I was pretty much feeling I was losing control of everything including my job at the time, the relationship itself, obviously. I had lost interest in many of my hobbies, which was very unlike me.

I wouldn’t say there was one day when anything particular happened, but it was just a build-up. And at that point, I just decided this couldn’t go on like this any longer. I started working on becoming myself again, let’s put it that way.

Chris: What was your action plan for taking a break from alcohol? You said that it was clear to you that you were not in control. To get a clear head and clear thinking related to all of these, a break from alcohol would be necessary. What was your action plan, or how did you think you are going to approach taking a break from alcohol?

Dominika: I knew that I was probably able to do it on my own in the sense that I didn’t need a serious detox or anything like that. At the same time, I knew I needed to get away geographically, but also mentally from the place I was living in. I did what I very often do when I need some space. I bought flight tickets to the other side of the world. I went to this beautiful island of Bali. It was wintertime, so for me, it was paradise. Not only because they offered me an escape, but also because it offered me sun where I didn’t have it here in Luxenberg, which is a very rainy and grey country.

One day, I just decided to fly away to Bali for one month. I had looked on the internet for different organizations and centers that could help me out with my problem. I was really looking for a holistic program that would help me with the root causes of why I was coping in a way I was coping. Bali was where I found the perfect place for me.

Chris: I was having a conversation with someone this morning, and we were drawing the distinction between when we drink, some of us have an addiction to drinking, and some of us just have really bad habits related to drinking. As you’re saying the surface symptom is that we’re drinking a lot, and then there are these root causes underneath that we have to address. Where do you think you fell at that time in drinking? Do you think it was more of a bad habit, or do you think you had an addiction that was getting the best of you?

Dominika: I would say it’s both. At that time, it was definitely both. If you drink regularly, then it’s inevitable that you become addicted, even if it’s on a lower level. That’s my conviction. Maybe it’s not the case for some binge drinkers who can go without alcohol for even a couple of weeks. But if you do it everyday or every other day, then there is some physical addiction involved for sure.

But mostly, it was a coping strategy. This is what I was taught by my surroundings, by society from a very young age. You are feeling blue or low, you just go and get drunk. This is what you do. Oh honey, just have a drink and forget it. Your friends say very often and it’s well-meaning, I’m sure. But this is we—as a society—teach people. No surprise, people then self medicate. By the very nature of what alcohol is, it needs to deteriorate gradually. This is what happened in my case.

Chris: Yeah. This is something we talked about in the last podcast episode—becomes this avoidance strategy. We have deep-seated things going on in our life. Whether it’s heartache, set back, failure, or disappointment, and drinking becomes the go-to. It is reinforced in society as a normal go-to, but ultimately, we’re just avoiding those root cause problems.

It sounds like you went to Bali to get to the root cause problems. My question for you is, what did you learn about yourself when you started to jump into the root cause problems? What was underneath the surface that perhaps alcohol was helping you avoid?

Dominika: I learned that—something I had actually suspected, but I really explored it in Bali—I have this deep-rooted fear of being abandoned and being alone, especially as a woman of being left to my own means. I learned that alcohol was just a coping strategy, like any other. A very unhealthy one, obviously, but just a coping strategy. There was nothing wrong with me. This is what I knew, so I naturally reached this thing. But I understood that I’m far from being the only one who has this issue, this fear that’s obviously related to my past experience as a child, as a teenager later.

I learned that basically, this is something that we say every day, what we share every day in the challenges group. The first and foremost thing to do is to love yourself. I think, at the time, I definitely didn’t love myself. I didn’t have respect for myself. This is why I was looking for happiness and validation in other people.

Chris: That must have been painful in some ways to confront that when you were alone in another part of the world with a group of strangers around you. You were confronting being alone and the fear of abandonment. I guess, let me just ask you, what was that process like for you? Was there a […] that came out of it? Like a relief that you had figured some of this out about yourself. Or was it the opposite? What were you experiencing during that time?

Dominika: It was painful, but at the same time, it’s very liberating to do it in front of complete strangers. I think this is actually one of the reasons why One Year No Beer is so successful because obviously, we share things that we wouldn’t share on our regular Facebook wall (very often). For me, Bali was the same. I met a wonderful group of people who cared for me. Okay, I didn’t know them. Actually, within 24 hours of my stay there, I got to know them better than I do many of my friends or colleagues here in Luxenberg.

It’s this typical example of a bartender to whom you’ll probably tell your deepest secrets quicker than some of your closest friends. This is what happened to me in Bali. Yes, it was painful, but I would compare it to a dentist visit. It’s so painful at that moment, but at the same time, you know this healing pain. You know that you need to undergo this pain to heal properly afterward. That’s how it felt.

Chris: That’s a great analogy. Kristine keeps telling me I need to go to the dentist by the way, and I’m using COVID as my excuse to stay away from the pain.

Dominika: That’s an avoidance strategy as well.

Chris: Just for everybody listening right now, one thing I’ll interject in this conversation and we’ve talked about this in MasterMind a little bit. But a great strategy for overcoming adversity, in general, is being able to lean on social support. Researchers have found that there is a protein in our brain—it’s called BDNF—which acts as a brain fertilizer. That brain fertilizer proliferates when we are leaning on a social support system for us. When that brain fertilizer propagates in our brain, it helps curb depression, and it just lifts our overall mood.

I think that’s what you’re describing this journey in Bali is that there is that opportunity to connect. It sounds to me too, you had this opportunity to connect to people in a non-judgmental way. You had almost this anonymity where you could just pour your heart out, and it was a little bit of a lower-risk proposition because these weren’t people that you were going to work with every day, as an example.

One Year No Beer wasn’t your starting point for all of this important work that you did in Bali. When did we come into this journey? When did One Year No Beer come into this journey, and why did you believe you needed One Year No Beer in your life?

Dominika: I joined maybe on my day 25 or 26 when I was leaving Bali because my stay there was exactly one month. I joined precisely because of the same thing I actually went to Bali for. Because I knew it was much easier for me to heal and to start exploring my issues away from home. But I was very acutely aware of the fact that at one point, I was going back home, and I wouldn’t have this support circle any longer. 

My friends in Bali underlined how important it is to find a new support circle. Not to abandon your friends completely. Obviously, there were some friendships I had to cut. But actually, not so many in my case. But you need some people with whom you can share about this particular topic.

One Year No Beer had been appearing on my Facebook feed for quite some time. It was pretty much an obvious choice for me, especially because I had checked the website before, and it really corresponded to what I was looking for. While I was leaving Bali, I actually joined when I was at the airport waiting for my flight back home.

Chris: When you joined One Year No Beer and you became integrated into the community, what did you find, and how did it help you?

Dominika: I found this refreshing oasis of goodwill and just loving energy in the midst of this hateful place called the internet full of political discussions and hateful or disrespectful comments on social media. And then there was this group of just loving people, struggling people, but precisely because they were struggling, they were able to understand. I wasn’t very active. Actually, still, I’m not super active in the group. I don’t share much, but I go there every day. I check the feed regularly Now, obviously, there are people that I have become friends with.

I haven’t met anyone in person yet, but it’s planned with some. Until this very day, I use One Year No Beer as a support group, but also as a constant reminder of why I am doing what I’m doing, and where I don’t want to end up again.

Chris: That part of your story also resonates so much with me. We were talking about the other day when we joined One Year No Beer. A few months after we did that, we got on an airplane and went to go physically meet other One Year No Beer members. We met Ruari and Jen. We met up in Reykjavík, Iceland. Again, what you’re describing, so many of us experience where the warmth of the community and meeting like-minded people who are focused on improving their lives and just hearing their stories and journeys is just really uplifting.

Especially, in this day and age, as you said, with all of the vitriol and the vision that you can see proliferate on the internet. I watched a documentary this week on Netflix called Social Dilemma. It dives into this issue around the way social networking tools are used today. I think the One Year No Beer community is such a pleasant exception to some of the things that were in that documentary.

Dominika: Absolutely. I actually watched it yesterday. A coincidence and I totally agree with what you’re saying. I have to say that both the people I met in Bali and One Year No Beer have restored my faith in humanity, in a way.

Chris: And you said you’re going to meet up with some One Year No Beer members maybe in person.

Dominika: I hope so. I don’t have the dates yet, the tickets, or anything like that because of COVID, obviously. But it’s definitely my intention. I’ve made wonderful friends on both One Year No Beer and through MasterMind as well. I am definitely planning to meet them in person, maybe organize. I’ve seen that people on the challenges groups sometimes even organize sports events like […] together. I am thinking of maybe organizing something similar. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

Chris: Maybe you should consider, at some point, going and doing like the Spartan World Championships with the team or something.

Dominika: Why not, yes. It’s definitely an option.

Chris: Speaking of MasterMind, you decided to take MasterMind. First of all, before we jump into this discussion about that part of your journey, can you just explain to the listeners of the podcast who might not know what MasterMind is, what the course is? And then maybe you can talk a little bit about what you were hoping was going to happen when you signed up for MasterMind.

Dominika: MasterMind, as I understood it at the beginning, is meant for people who have this issue of alcohol sorted already. Let’s say it’s not on your mind every day, every minute. Being alcohol-free is something that you do naturally. This has been the case for me pretty much since day 60, 65. Around that period, I started to just feel I had no cravings any longer. I didn’t have to persuade myself to avoid certain situations. Being alcohol-free had become this habit for me, this natural way of being.

I found myself goalless in that period because I had just submitted my Ph.D. thesis at the time. It was towards the end of March. MasterMind was advertised as being meant for two groups of people. Those who have no goal and are looking for one, or those who had a goal but didn’t really know how to reach it. I was obviously in the first group. I was like, why not. This is exactly what I need. I need to identify a new challenge after eight years of focusing on this one thing. I signed up, and I never regretted it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I’m very grateful. I’m very happy about what I achieved with the help of the group and to yourself, obviously.

Chris: What did you learn about yourself or during the program? Or were there things that you picked up in the MasterMind that just really helped reinforce some of the key things you had already learned from your time in Bali and from the early parts of your journey?

Dominika: I learned that to be truly happy, there needs to be a balance between various aspects of your life. It may sound obvious, but many times we just neglect various parts of our lives and we favor others. For a long time, I focused on work and maybe just achieving in general. I am an achiever, that’s for sure, but it’s not enough. If you want to be truly happy, you need to focus on your relationships, your well being, your sleep, and your nutrition. Really, the Maslow’s triangle and go from the very bases to the top. This is probably the biggest lesson I have from MasterMind.

Chris: Yeah. In some ways, I really was just joking when I was talking about going and doing something like a Spartan World Championship. One thing I’ll say to everybody listening to this is, those are big goals. Certainly, when we do those things, they can really change the way we feel about ourselves when we confront this really big thing. But sometimes, when we confront these big things, these big goals, those things are really actually not congruent with who we are at all.

For a non-athlete and we decide as an example to go do one of these Spartan World Championships, we feel great about ourselves while we’re training. We’re trying really hard to transform ourselves. Then we get to the end of that event and we just go back to the life we had before. The part of what you’re talking about here, Dominika, and part of what we explore in MasterMind together is that it’s actually the small tweaks that create the breakthroughs. It’s not when the clouds part and the angels sing that there’s this massive breakthrough in our life and suddenly we are transformed. That what transforms us is just getting 1% better every day. And that 1% better comes from a change in habits.

As you mentioned, habits around nutrition, movement, sleep, and of course, continuing to live out alcohol-free journeys. There are a lot of things that we can do to change the trajectory of our lives that don’t require some big pie in the sky goal. It sounds like you learned a lot of really important things about yourself so far on this alcohol-free journey that will contribute to your long term happiness and fulfillment. 

I understand that since you’ve been on this journey, you picked back up on some old interests— things that were hobbies that you may not have been doing—and you briefly mentioned them earlier. Most importantly, you finished a goal that has been lingering for a while. Will you share some of your stories related to those hobbies and related to this goal?

Dominika: Absolutely. As I was saying in the beginning, maybe one of the greatest motivations for me to go alcohol-free was my impression that I was losing myself. I wasn’t the person I knew when I was young. Someone who is passionate about books, cinema (in particular), and learning in general. Towards the end, my monkey brain just prevented me from enjoying those silent moments in a cinema theater, for example, or just focusing on a good book. I had basically stopped doing this completely. This was probably my greatest wake-up call.

Dominika who doesn’t read? Or Dominika who doesn’t go to the cinema? That’s not possible. It’s not her. Yes, I’m very happy to say that now I’m back. COVID prevented me from going to the cinema for a while, but now I’m back on track. Last week I went to see a three-hour, almost silent, black and white movie about World War II in this constructed inter Slavic language, which is exactly like me. This is who I am. This is the kind of movie I usually go to. Dominika is back in this sense for sure.

As for that long term goal—the long term project that I finished—that’s obviously the Ph.D.. As I said, I submitted the thesis in March and I waited for the evaluation for Ph.D. dissertations. You need three. All of them are very favorable. Last week of August, I went to Bratislava, Slovakia where I had been reading for that Ph.D., and I successfully defended the thesis. It had only taken me nine years, but now it’s done, and I’m officially a doctor.

Chris: And share with the audience. Because when you were sharing some of the specifics with me about the Ph.D. and what your thesis is on, will you share a little bit of that with the audience? It’s so specific and so interesting. I can’t even say the word, it’s onomatopoeia.

Dominika: Onomatopoeia. It’s words that imitate sounds. For example, cuckoo or bang. It can be interjections, but it can be words where you don’t necessarily perceive this imitative motivation we call it any longer. Like for example, shilling. The English word shilling actually imitates the sound the coins make, one against another. I looked into the origins of these words in both English and Slovak, and I compared some of their characteristics.

Chris: Wow. Again, very specific, but I love it. I love it that you followed through on something that was important to you. That you found yourself again in this process. That has now put you in this position of strength. You know, Dominika, this is the part of the story that I really encourage the listeners to listen to closely because this is the part of your story that inspires me so much. 

Where we started this discussion, you felt feelings of isolation or being alone, or you were worried about abandonment. That part of this journey was then to just say, hey, wait a minute. I’ve lost myself in the relationships I’ve been in. I’ve lost myself in this life of alcohol. I’m going to refind these things in my life, rediscover them—that are the essence of who I am. I’m going to love myself accordingly.

What I’d love to do for a minute here is just read a little bit from a post that you had in the Facebook challengers’ group just a couple of weeks ago. And I think it highlights this point. I’d love to have you talk for a few minutes about this post and what inspired you. I’m just going to read a portion of it for people listening today. This is from September 10th

Dominika says, “Today is day 263. I am on holiday in Greece and have just been to a goldsmithing course where I created this silver ring through the ancient technique of sand casting. It looks like a wedding ring, and that’s okay. I intend to wear the hell out of it. Why? Because after many years of looking for happiness in others, which necessarily leads to disappointment and consequently self-medicating with alcohol. Today, I feel I am finally ready to marry the only person that can give me the peace of protection I need, myself.”

Those are hugely powerful words that I get a lump in my throat when I read out loud. Can you talk about that post a little bit, and just provide a little more insight to the listeners about where that was coming from, what that was rooted in, and what you were expressing?

Dominika: I would say out of the 15 years maybe that I’ve been dating—ever since the age of 17—I’ve been single in total for maybe a year or so. One of the most important paths of my journey was and is still discovering my identity as a single person, as someone who is so self-sufficient. I’m very self-sufficient in my work, taking care of my flat, my cat, et cetera. But I haven’t been this way in terms of my emotional needs. I know it’s crucial for me to learn how to love myself, take care of myself, and just be okay with being alone.

This fear of being abandoned, obviously I’m sure that all of us—some people are in couples or have children, it doesn’t really matter. You always fear losing those people. That’s natural. It’s part of loving someone, and it will never disappear. But what I really want to achieve is being sure that even if something like that happens in the future, if in the future I am in a couple again and if I lose this person again, then I will survive, I will be able to overcome this, and I will be the same person. I will be the greatest source of support for myself.

Because so far, after every breakup, it felt as if I had to rediscover myself completely. Sometimes I had to find new friends because we had common friends with that person in question. Sometimes I had to find new hobbies or start looking for new places, pubs in the past to go because I had been going with that person. Now, I’m really working on having a life—fully-fledged, 100% Dominika’s life that will maybe be complemented one day by someone else that will be on top of that 100%, if you see what I mean.

I’m not there yet completely. Obviously, there are still moments where I like company. But I’ve made huge progress, in the sense, as is obvious from my post. For example, I was on holidays on my own. I really enjoyed myself. What I’m working on right now is to be actually okay with being by myself, not only when I’m abroad and doing exciting stuff, but also when I’m, for example, at home and just doing the regular boring daily routine tasks. But I’m getting there. I have good tools. Also, thanks to MasterMind and especially thanks to the support I’m receiving from both the challengers’ group and the MasterMind group I’ve remained in contact with.

Chris: When I first read that post, my initial gut response was, I want my daughter to understand this concept. This concept of a relationship won’t necessarily complete her. Or I should say that a relationship shouldn’t be used to complete her. What I’ll say is after I processed it for a couple of minutes, what I realized was, no, this is not just a message for my daughter. This is not just a message for women. This message of yours, Dominika, is a very strong message for people, in general.

When we get out of bed in the morning, whether we know it or not, consciously or unconsciously, we are trying to answer the same question every day. Which is, am I enough? A lot of times, we lean on relationships to try to answer that question about whether or not we’re enough. Until we can stand in front of a mirror and acknowledge and love ourselves, we are never really going to be someone who is lovable by other people, especially if we’re using other people to answer the question about whether or not we’re enough.

This is where I think your story is such a story of strength. I hear you expressing optimism on one hand around yes, I will be in a couple relationship at some point in my life—it will be loving. I also can stand on my two feet, I can love myself, and I can live independently and thrive. I just think that’s such an important message for everybody listening.

Look into the future now, Dominika. What’s next for you? You have accomplished a lot. You’ve learned a lot. What kind of goals do you have for yourself in the future?

Dominika: That’s a very good question. The other day, as part of MasterMind, the two of us discussed this and I expressed a bit of apprehension. That actually, after making huge progress on the first goal, I said to myself as part of MasterMind, now again, I’m unsure what I should do, what the next step should be. You assured me, and I’ve actually arrived at the conclusion that this is very true. That we don’t always need to have this huge, grandiose goal like climbing Mt. Everest or whatever. 

Sometimes the goal can be just keeping those streams of positivity (as you call it). Those different aspects of your life from nutrition, to sleep, to connections. Just keeping them in balance. This is probably what I am going to focus on in the months to come. I would like to develop some friendships or deepen some friendships that I neglected in the past. 

Then I would love to work on the relationship with my new spouse, which is myself, after those holidays in Greece. Continuing working on loving myself, and that will be done through affirmations and pampering myself from time to time. But also discovering new stuff. I’ve recently signed up for this pole dance path that I’m really, really enjoying. Also, because it’s very much like me. It’s very feminine, it’s very sensual, but it’s also a wonderful workout. This is a minor side project I’m working on. But I will say, project number one, I hope it doesn’t sound too selfish, but it’s just me, myself, and I.

Chris: I don’t think it sounds too selfish at all. I would just say it reinforces this thing around how important it is for us to love ourselves, to show ourselves compassion, and to show ourselves forgiveness. To not live a life in shame where we hang our heads about where we’ve been in the past. But instead, to keep our chins up, to move forward, and to continue learning in life. It’s funny because I think we are always so willing to grant compassion, forgiveness, and love to other people, and so often, we are unwilling to do the same thing for ourselves.

As we wrap up this podcast, what advice would you have for people listening? Perhaps people who are early in their journey and are dealing with triggers, maybe even lacking the self-confidence that they can be successful on this journey. What nuggets of wisdom do you have for them?

Dominika: I like to liken the first days of going alcohol-free to a common cold. We, adults, are actually quite childish sometimes. When you have a common cold and you don’t cut your tongue or your throat out just because it hurts. You don’t just put yourself on fire or jump out of a balcony. You just know that it will pass in a few days. This is exactly the same case with booze. It will eventually pass. We are very capable of enduring this and going through discomfort for a couple of weeks. The humanity—and people in general—are capable of going through much more suffering than this.

I would remind myself of what someone else actually posted the other day in the challengers’ group. Being successful in pretty much every long-term endeavor lies in the ability to choose what we want the most over choosing what we want now. If you are struggling, just picture yourself three months, six months from now being where those role models that you’ve been following on One Year No Beer who have 500, 600 days under their belt where they are. Yes, if you want to get there, then those two, three weeks of discomfort have to be dealt with. Are you willing to make this investment? I am sure you are.

Chris: That is really awesome advice. Again, it just reinforces so much why I wanted to have you on this podcast, Dr. Dominika Uhrikova. You got to get comfortable now hearing doctor in your name. Thank you so much for being on the podcast with me this week and sharing your story with everyone.

Dominika: Thanks to you, Chris. Thanks for having me once again. I’m looking forward to continuing to share our experience and little pieces of wisdom in both One Year No Beer and MasterMind.

Chris: For everyone who listened this week to the podcast, thank you so much. I hope that you got as much out of that conversation with Dominika as I did. I want to remind all of you listening that I am out there in the challengers’ group, Chris Laping. You can find me pretty easily. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to help in any way possible.

I also want to invite any of you out there who are considering the MasterMind to consider doing that in October with us. We are going to be kicking things off on October 5th. The MasterMind is such a wonderful journey. I got to experience it first as a One Year No Beer member, and of course, I’m the proud head coach of that now today. I would love to support you on your journey. With all of that, I’m going to sign out on this week’s podcast, and I hope that all of you make it a great day. Bye.

Thanks for listening to the One Year No Beer podcast. For a full list of episodes and to join in the challenge yourself, head on over to 


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